There was another big fight on Saturday night besides the controversial Floyd Mayweather KO of Victor Ortiz; this one at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (38-0-1 28 KOs) fought veteran Alfonso Gomez (23-5-2 12KOs) on a satellite venue as a Mayweather-Ortiz undercard bout.
Canelo, a 21-year-old Mexican fighter, is the pride of the Golden Boy Promotions boxing stable and holder of the WBC Super Welterweight championship belt. He successfully defended his title for a second time with a sixth round TKO when the fight was stopped at 2:36 of the round after Canelo seemed to be landing blows without any defense from Gomez.
To that point, other than a quick knockdown in the first round, Gomez had been scoring points and effectively landing punches against Canelo. While none rocked the youngster, he seemed to be practicing his defensive skills rather than finding Gomez with power punches.
The young champ won his title and made his first defense against two older fighters — Matthew Hatton and Ryan Rhodes — who looked small next to the bulky Alvarez and gave away nine and ten years respectively.
While no one would question the talent and heart of Alfonso Gomez, he is another fighter with a decade on Canelo, who has seen his best days.
Many have criticized Golden Boy Promotions for babying their Latino cash cow fighter who fills arenas in Southern California. After last night’s less than overpowering performance against Gomez, it just might be time for Oscar De La Hoya’s company to test tougher and younger waters in the next Canelo bout.
In his post-fight comments, Gomez decried the decision of the ring referee to stop the bout.
“He hit me hard but I think the referee was looking for a reason to stop the fight. He’s a great puncher but I think the fight was even to that point. It is what it is. I wanted to go the distance.”
Canelo Alvarez had no doubt he’d put his opponent away.
“I am very happy we worked hard we knew it was gonna pay off. I did my job at the beginning. I knew it was a matter of time.”
Used with permission of the author.
Paula Duffy is a national sports columnist for Examiner.com and the Huffington Post and regularly comments on sports/legal matters for radio affiliates of ESPN and Fox Sports. She founded the sports information site, Incidental Contact, is the author of a line of audio books designed for sports novices and in her spare time practices law in Los Angeles.
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